Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Recipes: Thyme Browned Butter Pork Chops; Loaded Roast Asparagus

This was dinner last night, and baby, was it good.  The pork chops were tender and delicious, but the hands-down star of the show was the asparagus.  Topped with crumbled blue cheese and roasted in butter and bacon fat, it was downright sexy.  Best of all, this meal makes it to the table in record speed. 
Loaded Roast Asparagus
Ingredients
  • 3 rashers of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, left on the stalk
  • 1 bundle fresh asparagus
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Directions
  1. In a small ovensafe skillet over medium heat, combine butter, thyme and bacon, and cook until the bacon is crispy.  Remove from heat.  (Note: Let it go slow so that you can get the maximum flavor out of the herbs and into the oil.)
  2. Meanwhile, trim the ends off of the asparagus, and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Wet a paper towel, and place on top of asparagus.  Microwave for 3 minutes, until asparagus is vibrant green but still not fully cooked.  (If you don't like to microwave, you can steam or blanch the asparagus very quickly).
  3. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and reserve (this is your cooking liquid for the pork chops); remove the pieces of thyme from the skillet and reserve.
  4. Add asparagus to remaining bacon and fat in the small skilled and toss to combine.  Add salt and pepper as desired.  Crumble blue cheese over asparagus. 
  5. Broil the asparagus for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is gooey and the asparagus starts to brown.  Serve!
 
Thyme Browned Butter Pork Chops
Ingredients
  • Reserved butter, bacon fat and thyme from the asparagus recipe, above
  • 3-4 boneless pork chops, no thicker than 1" (bone in or any thicker will increase the cooking time too much for this recipe)
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 cup white wine
Directions
  1. Heat the reserved fat and thyme in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  2. Season pork chops liberally with sea salt and garlic powder (you want to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic, because the fresh stuff will burn in this application).
  3. Gently fry the first side of the pork chops for about 4 minutes, or until well caramelized.
  4. Flip the chops and cook for 2 minutes, until you can see no obvious traces of pink on the outside of the chops. 
  5. Add the wine to the pan and gently shake the pan to move the chops around.  The wine should be bubbling, and everything should be pretty fragrant.  (This is a good time to put the asparagus - above - into the broiler).
  6. Cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the wine looks to have reduced a bit.  Let rest off of the heat for a couple of minutes, and serve with asparagus on the side.  Very yummy!!

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